Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
3 words: funny, frank, cheerful
When life hits you with a one-two punch (try: her husband of 15 years left her for a man he met online, then she was severely injured in a car accident), it’s not the worst plan to head home to Mom and Dad.
And if you have Rhoda Janzen’s parents… even better.
This memoir is laugh-out-loud funny throughout, and occasionally somberly self-reflective. (Why did she spend all those years with that less-than-wonderful husband, anyway?)
But mostly it’s a hilarious, warm-hearted account of life with her Mennonite family—a lifestyle she had fled.
But returning to a world in which the ladies whip up large batches of food at the drop of a hat (hot fruit soup—a specialty) proves comforting, and it’s easy to see why.
(An aside about Mennonite food: Last fall we bought the world’s most amazing molasses cookies at a Mennonite bakery. Dang, people! Literally the best molasses cookies on Earth. [I don’t even usually like molasses cookies!] I should’ve taken a photo, but I was too busy devouring the things. We’re making do here with a stunt photo I found on the Interwebs. Back to the book…)
Janzen’s account of her family’s foibles is downright funny and wonderfully realistic and still kind-spirited.
And some of her sentences made me laugh out loud. For example, this one, which appeared toward the end of a chapter in which she outlined a variety of Mennonite customs…
“Perhaps you have been wondering, How can I join this attractive religious group?” (p. 239)
This book is pure delight.